Whilst still in its infancy, blockchain technology is being driven by increasing demand for digital security along with government investments and the promise of reduced transaction time and costs, according to data analytics and consulting firm GlobalData’s recently published report Blockchain: Building a Blockchain Ecosystem for the Enterprise.

Blockchain in beauty ‘experimental’ for the time being

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, Ryan Whittaker, consumer analyst at GlobalData, said use in the beauty and personal care category, however, was “still very much at the new stage”.

“For the moment, it remains relatively niche as companies and startups attempt to implement it in a new or helpful way. When companies say they’re using it, it’s usually in an experimental fashion in established brands, or through startups,” ​Whittaker said.

For the time being, he said plenty of hurdles remained when considering how to integrate blockchain technology. “Blockchain is expensive to develop and run, and its benefits aren’t yet proven at scale.”

Countering fraud and providing transparency?

Outside of beauty and personal care, Whittaker said majors like Nestlé, Starbucks and IBM were experimenting with blockchain to assure provenance in the fast-moving-consumer-goods supply chain, especially in food where fraud had been a “big issue for years”.

This concept, he said, could potentially also be applied to beauty. “With online retail, I imagine that fake or contaminated cosmetics are a significant issue for that industry, so you might see future brands attempting to implement blockchain concepts to track the sourcing or movement of products.”

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